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Henry Zylstra, in Testament of Vision, wrote a provocative essay, "Eccentric Religion," in which he asked how an observer from Mars might describe the role religion plays in American life: "He could do worse than take a copy of Time magazine, point to its table of contents, and say that what he had seen down here was a lot of people interested in: Art, Books, Business, Cinema, Education, Medicine, Music, People, Personality, Press, Radio, Religion, Sports, Theatre. … "

Zylstra's analysis, I think, can be applied equally well to family ministry. That same Martian could do worse than describe the role family ministry plays in church life by taking the Sunday morning bulletin and saying this church is interested in: Sermons, Music, Youth, Family, Elderly, Singles, Deacons, Books. …

If our visitor were asked if Family, tucked in between Elderly and Youth, was the governing concern in the life of the church, he would have to say no, that Family was a category of ministry operating ...

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